The Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis) is quite a common bird throughout Australia, except for the far north, southern tip of Western Australia and Tasmania. Quite common in the arid interior. This is a nomadic bird, although they can be seen in pairs or small flocks.

Found in arid woodlands habitat, mulga, mallee, saltbush, tea-tree, and regions with spinifex groundcover. Also found in the drier parts of coastal regions with scrubby vegetation cover.

Feeds on insects, nectar and small native fruits. Often seen in bushes and trees, such as the Corkwood Hakea, that are in flower, enjoying the nectar.

The adult Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater is recognised by the pale pink bill, white cheeks with fine spiny feathers that extend back from the cheeks onto the sides of the neck. The throat and upper breast is a soft cinnamon buff colour, almost yellowish under certain light. It can be heard singing in a clear, piping, melancholic notes, repetitive and musical.

Images © Dorothy L


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Meliphagidae
  • Genus: Acanthagenys
  • Species: A. rufogularis
  • Binomial name: Acanthagenys rufogularis